Deborah Conway (AM) is one of Australia’s most prolific and significant musical artists - a multi-award winning singer, songwriter, producer, festival director and National Living Legend.
Deborah Conway and partner Willy Zygier were originally scheduled to perform at Blue Mountains Theatre in 2020, however COVID-19 had other plans and following a second postponement we must now wait patiently until February 2022.
We caught up with Deborah to chat about her show and find out what else she has been working on recently.
The past 18 months has been incredibly difficult for performance artists. How have you stayed positive throughout this time?
I started writing an autobiography at the end of 2019 so when 2020 lockdowns began in March I saw them as an opportunity to hide myself away and write. I have been fortunate to find this project absorbing. I’ve taken the opportunity to read some big tomes and have been ok with seeing few people, although when there’s any respite from our almost continual lockdowns I have made sure to catch up with dear friends who I have missed enormously.
Your show with partner Willy Zygier 'Songs From The Book Of Life' delves into your extraordinary decades-long careers and promises to be an honest, intimate reflection. What prompted you to bare it all on stage?
In March Willy & I started to direct our attention to writing a theatrical piece based around the autobiography. The result is The Songs From The Book Of Life. One of the impulses behind writing it is to explore legacy; it has been a forty year career and that makes you think, especially when you have a lot of time to do so, that looking back on it would be a worthwhile project.
Have you been surprised, or moved, by audiences' reactions to this show?
The show has been performed only once due - yep you guessed it - to more lockdowns. Ararat was our opening and closing night for this performance and it went remarkably well considering the complexity of the show and the added pressure of the new rules that forbade us from continuing the tour we’d started and had me in the dressing room rescheduling the remaining regional shows.
To an observer, it seems that you have 'ticked all the boxes' - critical acclaim, commercial success, a swag of awards and accolades, and a prolific and creatively diverse career. Is there anything on your ultimate bucket list?
I love being a self employed small business woman who controls her own destiny. One of the aspects that I love about what I do is that at any time I can take a phone call offering me a gig/role/position that I hadn’t thought of undertaking. I feel very blessed.
Deborah Conway and Willy Zygier's 'Songs From The Book Of Life' comes to Blue Mountains Theatre on Saturday 26 February 2022.